Solons want to probe the ‘secret US military operations in the Philippines’

LAWMAKERS urged the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to conduct a probe  into the “secret United States military operations in the country.”

Reps. Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao (Party-list Akbayan) filed House Resolution 2576  calling for congressional inquiry including the possible involvement and liability of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who knew of or authorized these illegal military operations.

Citing a story entitled “The Drone Zone” published in the New York Times on July 6, 2012; Bello said the US operates at least three drone programs, which utilizes unmanned aerial vehicles armed with lethal capabilities in its military operations overseas.

Bello said that in 2006, a barrage of Hellfire missiles from a predator hit a suspected rebel camp in the jungles of Southern Philippines. “However, the missiles did not kill their prime target, Indonesian terrorist Umar Patek, but the other rebels manning the camp,” he said.

“One of the programs is run by the Pentagon, which was used in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the other two are classified programs operated separately by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC),” Bello said.

Citing Article VXIII, Section 25 of the constitution, Bag-ao said the charter provides that after the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning military bases, foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when congress requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for the purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting states.

Likewise, Bag-ao said Article II, Section 2 and 7 of the 1987 Constitution states that “the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles on international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom of cooperation, and amity with all nations.”

Moreover, the Constitution mandates that the “State shall pursue independent foreign policy relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination.”

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